Supporting the Flipped Classroom

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Every summer we try to attend the Pitt County Tech Fest, a great event for teachers in Eastern North Carolina. Two years ago I noticed that one session was filled to overflowing, with participants literally standing in the hallway straining to hear the presenter. The topic? Flipping the middle school science classroom.

What struck me about this phenomenon was not the topic itself; we already had teachers sharing how they used SAS Curriculum Pathways resources to support their own flip. No, what was particularly interesting was the high level of interest in a pedagogical idea not required of those dozens of teachers standing in that hallway. No administrators told them to go or required them to flip their classrooms. Those North Carolina teachers were simply eager to learn about a new approach that might help them better serve the needs of their students.

So here is a simple fact: Teachers know a good idea when they see one. The flipped classroom is a good idea. A fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard who studies technology and education, Justin Reich recently told the New York Times, “It’s the only thing I write about as having broad positive agreement.”

Over the past few years, we have reached out to learn how educators use SAS Curriculum Pathways as part of their flip, teachers like April Gudenrath at Academy Online High School in Colorado. We gathered those ideas in an integration strategies article available in the Professional Development section of our web site.

So just how are teachers using SAS Curriculum Pathways as part of a flipped classroom? One high school English teacher—instead of lecturing about life in Victorian England—assigned a web lesson, Setting in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, as an out-of-class assignment before beginning a study of the novel.

Our resources provide independent learning opportunities that engage students and typify the best out-of-class assignments found in flipped courses. Teachers are using our audio tutorials, web lessons, inquiries, Spanish language videos, and interactive tools to provide instruction for their flipped classrooms. All of these resources include student assessment, helping to ensure active learning.

No matter how they implement the flipped model, experienced "flippers" note that active student engagement with out-of-class instructional materials is critical to overall success. SAS Curriculum Pathways resources can be a key element to help teachers get on that road.

Looking for videos for your flipped classroom? Our YouTube channel includes short videos from our current resources that your students can use to learn basic concepts before coming to class.

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About Author

Ralph Moore

Ralph Moore coordinates and conducts professional development for Curriculum Pathways. He works with schools and organizations around the country and has presented at conferences for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A former army officer and social studies teacher, he spent 10 years on the Curriculum Pathways humanities team creating new digital curriculum products.

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